You Just Met Before Feb. 14, Now What?

by Kevin Burton

   Like it or not, your Valentine’s Day gift makes a statement.

  You want to give a gift that tells your valentine just how you feel about them.

   But what if you don’t know how you feel about them? What if you just met them?  What if you just started dating?

  You don’t want to come on too strong but you don’t want to take them for granted either.

   Of course, meeting someone during the pandemic makes things quite a bit more difficult. But people are making the effort.

   The British online magazine Metro describes the stress of it all.   

   “When you’re not quite coupled up but not quite single, when you’re dating, or you’ve just met someone new, the looming presence of Valentine’s Day is absolute torture. Are you supposed to do romantic stuff? Is it appropriate to buy stuff with hearts on if you haven’t said ‘I love you’ yet?”

   “Should you expect something? What if they’re expecting a gift from you and you’ve done nothing?”

   Don’t you love that “coupled up”?

   Metro has stepped up with some advice in your time of need. That’s my disclaimer in case any of this backfires. THEY said it, not me.

   Here’s a rule of thumb regarding how long you have been dating.

   Dating expert Charly Lester told Metro that if you didn’t exchange gifts at Christmas, you don’t need to celebrate Valentine’s Day together.

   “This is a brilliant rule for two reasons,” the magazine opines. “Firstly, because if you’ve dated from Christmas to Valentine’s Day, you’ve been at dating for at least a month and a half. Any less time than that, and you’re probably rushing into Valentine’s Day romance too quickly. And secondly, because if you didn’t exchange gifts over Christmas, you haven’t yet hit the gift-exchanging stage. It’s an easy way to figure out the Valentine’s Day conundrum, basically, with a simple, black and white rule.”

   That sounds good but not sure I trust it. When we’re talking romance, anything “simple” sounds very boy band, very Jackson 5, “A B C, easy as 1, 2, 3…”

    Selina Barker from Project Love told Metro that the Valentine’s Day celebration should be based on how the new relationship is going, not necessarily on how long you’ve been together.
   “If you’ve fallen for one another in a big way and you both know it, then you might love the opportunity to spend a day celebrating your new-found love,” Barker said.  “But if you’re taking it slow and seeing how things go, then you might want to give a light-hearted nod towards Valentine’s Day – a jokingly cheesy card or a chocolate heart.”

    “Essentially, if you and the person you’re dating have been super mushy and romantic from the get-go, you’ll probably want to do something for Valentine’s Day. If you’ve been keeping it casual, haven’t said the L word, and haven’t organized any romantic gestures, it’d be a bit weird to suddenly make a huge effort for Valentine’s Day,” the magazine says. 

   If you’re unsure as to whether or not you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day, but don’t want to risk upsetting the person you’re dating by giving them nothing, just pick up something small and simple. The magazine suggests

   Buzzfeed has some thoughts along those lines. Low-key gifts they suggest include a throw blanket, a T-shirt with a funny saying, a board game, a cookbook, or a pillow.

  The pillow on their website says “I hate you the least.” Might I suggest finding a different saying if you try this gift idea. 

   Don’t be that person who pretends that they had no idea Valentine’s Day was happening, the magazine warns.  No one will believe you.

   “If you’ve decided not to celebrate with gifts and cards, at least send a text mentioning the day. You can say ‘happy Valentine’s Day, btw”

   Oh and here’s a novel idea. You could actually talk about Valentine’s Day.  Have a conversation.  Communicate.

   “Ask the person you’re dating. Open up the conversation in a chilled out, casual way. Something along the lines of ‘Valentine’s Day is coming up… is that a big day for you? Is it something you want to celebrate?” the magazine suggests.  

   Lester says, “If you’ve only been together for a few months, it’s worth discussing it with the other person. Are you doing gifts? Will you be spending the day together? If you talk honestly about it, then there won’t be any awkward assumptions, or one person making far more of an effort than the other.”

    Good luck love birds!

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